When it comes to royal princes, Harry has the lock on being the rebellious one. After all, he was at the heart of the disruptive “Megxit,” and everything from his shocking interview with Oprah to his recent autobiography and Netflix documentary series continue to make waves for the Royal Family. Compared to that, Prince William, the future King of England, cemented his reputation as being a good and loyal son.
However, William has one big thing in common with Harry: he is also capable of being disruptive, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. And nobody knows this better than his own wife, Kate Middleton, whose relationship with her mother was dramatically affected by Prince William’s marriage proposal.
Why did the proposal shock Kate’s mom so much, and what made William’s proposal so special? Keep reading to discover the answer!
How Prince William proposed to Kate
Prince William may be the future King of England, but this didn’t mean a marriage proposal could happen just anywhere. He knew he really wanted to impress Kate, so he decided to pop the question when they were visiting Kenya with some of their friends. An exotic backdrop makes for a great romance, but William nearly got hung up on some of the basic details.
According to ABC News, William’s first plan was to ask Kate’s dad (Michael Middleton) for permission to propose to the man’s daughter. This is the traditional way to do things, but William, who is otherwise very traditional, suddenly had a major concern. “I was torn between asking Kate’s dad first and then the realization that he might actually say ‘no’ dawned upon me.” Instead, this future royal decided to take a more direct approach. “I thought if I ask Kate first, then he can’t really say no. So I did it that way round.”
Kate obviously said yes to the proposal, unaware of the potential family drama waiting for her back home. Aside from being genuinely in love with William, she likely had trouble saying no due to the special nature of the engagement ring she was given.
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A very special engagement ring
We often ask what to get for the person who has everything, but William had the opposite problem: what does the man who has everything get for the woman he loves? William had access to both vast wealth and the Royal Family’s extensive jewelry, but he instead opted to propose with a ring that was very close to his heart.
The ring in question was Princess Diana’s famous sapphire ring. Interestingly, as Cheat Sheet reports, it was Harry that inherited this ring after the death of Diana. However, older brother William was the first to get serious about settling down with someone, so Harry gave William the ring specifically to propose to Kate.
Some have valued that ring as worth half a million dollars, but what makes it truly priceless is the connection to Diana, beloved mother to Harry and William. And these days, the ring might also be a bittersweet reminder of the time when Harry, William, and Kate were bosom buddies.
Kate’s confusion about her mom
After Kate said “yes” in Kenya, she thought things would all be downhill from there. But during their engagement video, she revealed that the engagement created an “awkward” family situation. Feeling guilty about not asking him first, William spoke to Kate’s father soon afterward, gaining his blessing. However, as Kate returned back home, she realized that William had not spoken to her mother, Carole Middleton, and it was unclear at first whether she knew about the engagement or not.
As Kate put it, her mother “didn’t make it clear to me whether she knew or not.” The result of that confusion was that “both of us were there sort of looking at each other and feeling quite awkward about it.”
Fortunately, all of this awkwardness and confusion had a very happy ending. Once Kate’s mother knew the truth, Kate said that “I think, as any mother would be, she was absolutely over the moon.”
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Getting the timing just right for the proposal
For all of his nervousness, William didn’t really have much to worry about when it came to whether Kate would accept his proposal or not. In the engagement video, he mentioned that “Kate wasn’t in the dark at all when we were planning it for at least a year if not longer.”
Why did he not propose sooner, then? “It was just finding the right time and that’s what most people say about couples, it’s all about timing.” For example, William was focused on his military career at the time, and Kate was focusing on certain career goals.
As with many couples, they ended up getting engaged when the time was right. And in a world of tumultuous celebrity breakups and royal scandals, the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton has been a rock of stability and security, making it difficult for all but the most jaded critics to root for them as a couple.